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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Olaf 'Rhialto' Seibert's LiveJournal:

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Friday, December 23rd, 2016
I never wrote more about the kitty...
but unfortunately, he didn't make it very long after the previous post. He ate but kept losing weight slowly, and it became difficult for him to get up or lie down. So we put him to sleep before he really began suffering. It was a very sad day.

But we got new kitties from the shelter! We chose two kitties who were no longer the youngest and who were unappreciated the whole time they were at the shelter. Niko is so black you can hardly make pictures of him :-)

See picture...Collapse )
Actual email from a bank
Actual letter from a bank that I am (was!) trying to become a client of:

Dear Sir´[Name]

Thank you for your enquiry.

Communication with our organisation is limited to the German language.

It would be appreciated if you could send us your request or enquiries in
German to allow us to process it as efficiently as possible.??

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank
you for your assistance.

Kind regards
Ihre DKB

This after an exchange of several emails (in German from them, in English from me) where they suddenly demanded more paperwork than normal, some of which simply wasn't possible due to non-existence of the sort of paper they were asking for. And after I was pointing out that, as I understand what has been told to me, they are legally required to give all comers a bank account.
Tuesday, March 29th, 2016
The state of the kitty
The kitty is eating well now for some weeks. The trigger seemed to be force-giving him a particular antibiotic. Unfortunately he is not gaining any weight. And by now it is pretty clear that he does have some kind of malignant swelling. You can see that his face is swollen and the side of his neck is also visibly thicker. The eye on that side has that weird white film, which is covering it for a fairly large part now, and it is reddish. It even seems to bulge somewhat... all together it looks a lot bigger than on the other side. I haven't included a picture since it is a bit scary actually if you suddenly see it. That eye was already a different colour when my gf found the kitty, nearly 2 years ago. Maybe it was already a symptom?
Anyway, despite all this, he is in good spirits. He eats eagerly (even though the antibiotic was stopped a few weeks ago, when we finally dared to try it), and does things he never did before such as climbing on top of people. He even eats all food he never liked. But he is clearly weak and sometimes his balance is clearly lacking. And he still doesn't play with cat toys, even not with laser pointers.
Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016
It's up and down with kitty. Some days he eats relatively well, not on other days. His nose still seems blocked and he still has the swelling to the side of his nose (possibly part of blocking the nose). He also still has the weird thing that there seems to be something stuck in his mouth that he can't get out. Sometimes he even tries to claw it away (to no avail, since there is nothing visible).
At least he is FIV-negative. But his liver function is still bad. It's more or less the same as around new year when we[1] started going to the vet with him...
In theory they could do an ultrasound, but that is super stressful, since his belly would need to be shaven, and he doesn't like to be touched there.
Another new weird thing is that he doesn't want to lie down on his side any more; he keeps sitting down on his paws (and often even keeps his belly off the pillows he is sitting on).
In other things he is mostly still very normal, asking for food, cuddles, and headbutting.
We alternate in optimism and pessimism, but we do fear we'll have to "make him go asleep" when he starts suffering from clear pain...

[1] kitty lives with my gf in Berlin

In other news, my ADSL connection has been down now for nearly a week and that is very annoying for all mail addressed to my mailbox at my domain...
Saturday, January 23rd, 2016
Cute kitty
A cute picture of kitty
After more vet visits, I hope he makes it... still unclear what it is he has but it could be FIV... but kitty is now flagged for pallative care and that doesn't sound good to me...
Next weekend I'll be visiting kitty and I hope he makes it to that at least...
Friday, January 15th, 2016
How do you get a cat to eat?
How do you get a cat to eat, who clearly is hungry and wants to eat, but doesn't recognize the food that is put in front of him as food?
He has a blocked nose due to cat flu (or something) so he doesn't smell anything properly. He was always a picky cat anyway where eating is concerned.
Due to this not eating, he has already lost 3 of his 6 kg of weight... and feels really skinny. We are getting really desperate... help?
Friday, June 19th, 2015
Open hardware is fun while it lasts
It seemed so much fun, an open hardware computer, designed by the famous Bunnie and xobs. Even with an FPGA.
After paying a year ago, I received my package in march, after months and months of anticipation.
Of course, customs screwed me over on the 21% VAT to be paid on import. Since the dollar had become more expensive in the mean time, they made me pay import duties over a significantly higher number of Euros than I had actually paid almost a year earlier.
The machine had to be assembled a bit, but after doing that... it crashed almost every time within 10 seconds of turning it on. One time it worked for an hour, until I looked at it wrong...
I mailed with the customer service of Crowd Supply (the crowd funding company) and after some to-and-fro they sent a package with a replacement motherboard, having determined that it was likely there were some bad cold-solder points. Unfortunately, they sent it in such a way that the customs wanted another pile of money from me (EUR 107 to be approximate). Clearly I didn't accept that. I mailed (for the nth time) that Crowd Supply should do something about this, somehow. But they never did. And after 3 weeks, the replacement package was sent back automatically.
So now I have shipped the whole thing back. And I'll be trying to get refunds, both from Crowd Supply and the customs. I fear that trying the latter is like trying to squeeze blood out of a stone..

But at least I have strawberries with whipped cream today :-)

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015
5 years ago already...
Time goes fast. Today it was already 5 years ago that Isabelle passed away. As a ritual, I'm burning a bit of incense.

A lot has happened in that time, it seems. My luck with jobs seems to have gone as well; I have had several in these years.

But there is some very good news :-) Through the magic of "The Internet" I met a lovely new girlfriend. I didn't really expect it, and I didn't expect where I found her either: S. lives in Berlin. Not that a long distance is strange for me ("wat je van ver haalt is lekkerder"), but it is the direction this time which is new for me.

So I'm in Berlin this weekend (the train connections are very good) and saturday we can celebrate that it is 6 months ago that she sent me her first message :-)

Current Mood: loved
Thursday, November 6th, 2014
An email exchange with a security expert at KLM.com (In Dutch)

First, my initial email which is very similar to what I previously wrote on my Dreamwidth/Livejournal.
Some time passed... apart from a receipt nothing happens. I decide to push a bit for a reply. Then finally, more than two months after my initial mail, comes this infuriating non-reply. "Your privacy is very important to us." Well, you know what it means when some company writes that.
On Tue 28 Oct 2014 at 08:37:11 +0000, Xxxxxxx, R (SPLAV) - KLM wrote:

I decide to be "a bit" more explicit in my reply. It is impossible that a large company could be so stupid, but what other conclusion can I draw? They really really have to fix this!

Current Mood: annoyed
Friday, October 24th, 2014
Grrr last sunday night when I came back to the train station to collect my bicycle, some (&&(#@$ idiot had stolen my saddle! I had to find a bike shop open on mondays to buy a new one, and the saddle pin too...
What use is a loose saddle to a thief?
I think that possibly this vandalism was a revenge for my bike being too well attached to the rack so they couldn't steal the whole thing...

Current Mood: aggravated
Saturday, August 9th, 2014
Screened comment post
Here is another one of those posts with the comments screened. Useful for telling me stuff after BiCon or just in general.
Friday, August 8th, 2014
Extremely weak "passwords" on klm.com website
Executive Summary: 6-digit PIN codes do not offer a sufficient protection for personal information on a web site!

Recently I became a KLM Flying Blue "frequent flyer". For that one can of course login on klm.com with a password. Well... password... a "PIN". Just digits. The default length is 4, and the maximum is 6! Obviously this is ridiculously unsafe! There is a lot of personal information "protected" by that PIN, such as passport numbers...
I tried to tell this to the customer service, but (also of course) they didn't even understand what I was talking about.
To make things confusing, there are apparently two different logins. If you just book a flight, you can access that information later on, and for that there is an actual password of sufficient strength possible. That is called a "KLM account".
Things got confusing when I first only had a booked flight and hence a "KLM account", but later added the "Flying Blue account". You log in for both through the same login form.
And apparently, once you have the "Flying Blue account" it doesn't accept the password for the "KLM account" any more (if both have the same email address used for logging in).
If it *had* accepted the password there, I would probably not even have noticed that you can also login with the weak PIN.
My main worry is the incredible stupidity of digit-only PIN codes that are also at most 6 digits long (and the default is 4, for instance when you reset it). What to do to get the appropriate people to look at it and get that strengthened?

And if you want to double-check it for yourself... if you click "inschrijven" (or "register" maybe) you'll see you can register for 2 different kinds of accounts, and the Flying Blue one wants a PIN while the other one wants a password...
Sunday, August 3rd, 2014
lj breaks site and closes support request without resolution [more or less solved]
Some time ago, the "new and improved" styling of the livejournal site broke the login process if you don't enable javascript. Which should be done very sparingly, since it is unwise to download and run programs from basically random strangers on the Internet.

I posted a support request about this matter when it wasn't resolved in some weeks.


I just went to check its status to request some reply to it. It turned out to be somehow "closed". Not that they had let me know about it... and of course there was no reply and no resolution. There seems to be no tracking of status changes so I cannot see when it was closed and by who. Nor can you (as of this writing) see that it was closed before I re-opened it.

I am getting more and more angry about this. What was that community again where people collect this sort of complaints?

Just in case the support request disappears, here is its text:

Time posted:Fri, 30 May 2014 23:06:30 GMT (2 months ago)

If javascript is disabled, login does not work.
It *seems* to work; you arrive at a page that tells you that you have logged in. https://www.livejournal.com/login.bml (or something like that; I have now logged in and I don't have that page open any more).

But if you then click on your own username (about the only thing you can click on) it turns out you are not logged in at all. You don't get to see locked entries for instance.

Of course javascript should be kept off for security reasons!

But if you turn it on for a bit and then forget to turn it off, many pages keep the "loading' indicator active. Something suspicious is going on there, which makes me trust the site even less.

Also: the new style of the front page (and who knows what else) is horrible horrible horrible!

Posted: Sun, 03 Aug 2014 21:10:42 GMT (9 minutes ago)

Why was this request closed?

You didn't even let me know.

The site is STILL BROKEN!

I am very angry and this is NOT making it better!

Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Okay, air travel booked
Okay, I just booked my air travel for BiCon. I'm going to London first (on tuesday), then to BiCon, then back home.
I was first planning to do fly Jet2 from LBA to AMS, but their flight time on sunday was way too early. And it turns out that KLM will do disconnected return flights for seemingly no extra charge. They still charge the 10-fold fare for single trips, though. Literally. A flight from LBA to AMS can be had for £40-£50 in combination with a return flight, but as a single it would cost between £400 and £500...
But now I'm flying with KLM to London City Airport. Most options went to Heathrow, but who wants to go to Heathrow? Much too far away. If I can land in the middle of the city and wave to a former BiCon venue, that seems a much better option.
It's a shame though that online checkin is only about 30 hours in advance.
Next step: book train (or so) from London to Leeds (Horsforth, actually). What's the recommended train booking site these days? nationalrail.co.uk seems to work fine, actually.
Wednesday, January 1st, 2014
Happy 2014!
Now that the fireworks-war-zone-noise outside is almost over...

Let's hope this year is a good one!
*newyearhug for everyone who wants one*
Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
/me is sitting in the tent  where the opening ceremony of OHM 2013 is about to start...
(or rather, was supposed to start 7 minutes ago...)

Friday, June 21st, 2013
Cat herding!
From a cow orker I got a free ticket to the circus that is currently playing here. It is a small circus with the usual things, but it had one very surprising act: one with cats! (And I don't mean the "usual" Siberian tigers (do they have tigers in Siberia? The camels were supposedly also Siberian...), they had those too, but Felix Domesticus). Not what the cats were doing was the most surprising thing, but that they were doing anything at all... and one of those things involved climbing from one pedestal to another using a narrow plank... but climbing upside down, hanging underneath it... I think this is the circus act that will stay with me the longest time.

Current Mood: impressed
Thursday, May 30th, 2013
I just read that Jack Vance passed away this weekend...

Jack is my favourite author of all time. At one time in the distant past, when I needed a nickname, I tried out different ones for size. One stuck. Rhialto. I hoped that the name would convey to me some of his magical properties and appeal to romantic partners. Maybe it helped, but the name stuck anyway...
Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
Unlucky symmetry
Last weekend I was about to go to sleep, but I was just reading my email first. In my inbox I found a mail from "my professor", Kees (C.H.A.) Koster. He was my boss for several years at the university in my pre-previous job, and earlier when I just came to university he taught me the principles of programming by top-down refinement (and after that, by bottom-up abstraction). When I had my "skiing accident" when I was a student, he visited me in hospital and brought me a book as present. He was, I'm sure, many people's favourite professor. Later, in my first job, one of his daughters was my colleague for several years.
Unfortunately, the mail was an announcement that he had been in a motorcycle accident. He had taken up that hobby again in recent years. He had died in hospital.
Last tuesday was his funeral. I saw many of his students, and former colleagues and other people from university. There were no less than three choirs in the service, since he was a member of a Byzantine Choir as well. The church was quite full and it reminded me of his lectures, how you sometimes had trouble finding a free spot.
And there was his French friend and colleague, Jean. He had come from Lyon for this funeral. And exactly three years earlier, I was in Montrond (which isn't very far from Lyon) for another one.
I didn't know him as a particularly religious person. It is probably just that one gets sucked into tradition, on these occasions. The same was true for Isabelle as well, she wasn't religious at all, and neither are her parents, but still there was a church service.

Current Mood: contemplative
Monday, March 18th, 2013
3 years already, today
*burns Passion Flower incense for Isabelle, and a candle*

Current Mood: sad
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